Women to Watch: Amanda Henderson
Amanda Henderson is a lover of life experiences and an EDS Zebra.
Henderson was born with a rare, genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Amanda shared that EDS defines a lot of who she is and was her path to finding cannabis. EDS presents as a spectrum; for her, as a progressively debilitating disability. Cannabis has allowed Amanda to live a deeper, richer quality of life with EDS. More recently, she delved into being a Cannamom, giving birth to her first child on Missouri’s first day of Recreational sales.
“For my peers and those who know me, it couldn’t have been more fitting. I am a huge advocate for mothers who need medical cannabis and pot parenting.”
Professionally, Amanda was drawn to Show-Me Organics because it’s a family-owned & operated company. They have a strong mission of innovating on behalf of the patient across all brands; Vivid, Buoyant Bob, and Missouri’s Own Edibles.
“I connected deeply with Show-Me Organics’ position on women in cannabis leadership, elevating women and breaking glass ceilings. One of my favorite things about Show-Me Organics is the pride in our Missouri roots, which manifests directly in our Missouri’s Own Edibles brand, our desire to drive patient innovation, and fostering community engagement. I have to highlight this company for being a role model of workplace happiness. After 5 years in the cannabis industry, I can confidently say Show-Me Organics is a top company in Missouri to work for.”
For the first time in her career, she was having dinner with the President of the company she is employed at; LeAnne Dickerson.
That, for her, was surreal. She had never experienced such closeness at a job. Her role as Field Marketing Manager includes the management of an amazing marketing team focused on evolving cannabis education and consumer experience.
“I think it’s worth stating that I got into cannabis culturally before professionally. The EDM, or electronic dance music community, and cannabis have a symbiotic relationship. At music festivals you get to connect and experiment with the new-age movements intertwined with cannabis. It was at live shows where I unlocked the “medical magic” and learned set & setting. Professionally I got into cannabis through my love of cooking, joining WANA to open their cannabis kitchen in Illinois in 2018.”
In production, she filled many roles from lead line chef to quality assurance before moving into retail as a dispensary agent in charge for 2 years.
“Moving to the Missouri market was exciting after seeing a friendlier climate to smaller businesses.”
Having a career in cannabis allows Amanda to celebrate her own medical needs while also educating others on brand products. For the past decade and counting, cannabis has routinely helped with symptoms associated with EDS: chronic pain, and regulating my body homeostasis, etc.
“I am hugely passionate about giving back to the cannabis community for giving me such a meaningful quality of life. With the help of cannabis, I was able to function at my best and advance into leadership. I want to use my platform in this industry to support and elevate people with disabilities to also reach for leadership opportunities and feel empowered doing so.”
As a new mother, Amanda is faced with an unequal distribution of housework and childcare, while having the same full-time work week as industry male counterparts. Career building is more difficult for women, especially mothers, while men’s careers are not normally interrupted with societal expectations regarding family roles.
“I am proud to be part of a company that offers Paid Maternity Leave or Parental Leave, which is a step in the right direction. Work as hard as you can and don’t think you have something to prove being a woman. I can’t tell you how many women have expressed to me the feeling of having something to prove in this industry because of their gender. Practice self-love by attending women-centric events across the state, find me in the field and introduce yourself!”